A variety of studies reveal that older adults who continue to build relationships and make connections with others experience an array of health benefits into their later years. Seniors who make social activities a top priority enjoy everything from improved cognitive function and a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease to a boosted immune system and improved physical health.
Keeping your social circles strong as you age can even increase your longevity. Your friends and loved ones are often key in helping you deal with life’s daily stresses and motivating you to lead a healthier lifestyle.
What is Social Wellness?
Social wellness refers to both the way we interact with others and the relationships we have built in our lives. As you grow older, maintaining the same social circles can become challenging, as friends and loved ones may no longer be with you and children may move away. And, when you become less socially involved with others, you can become more susceptible to illness, depression and isolation. As you can see, social activities for seniors are vital to maintaining a high level of physical, mental and emotional health.
The Best Social Activities for Seniors
Staying socially active gives you a true sense of purpose and keeps you connected to the world around you. If you are finding it difficult to build relationships in your later years, here are a few ways to enhance your social life:
- Seek ongoing education opportunities. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn more about art history or take a poetry class. Community colleges and adult education centers often offer classes designed for seniors, and these are great opportunities to meet new friends. As an added bonus, keeping your brain engaged can help improve your memory and cognition.
- Find a club. Weekly or monthly meet-ups with a local book club, garden club, quilting club or walking group – anything you enjoy doing – is a great way to meet others and enjoy experiences with those who share your interests.
- Join a fitness center. Joining a local gym or fitness center not only helps ensure you’re staying in top physical condition, but that you’ll also enjoy some much-needed social engagement. Find a workout buddy or a class you can attend with others.
- Look for volunteer opportunities. Many organizations are always seeking qualified volunteers. Whether it’s offering skills you’ve learned throughout your career, walking the dogs at an animal shelter, or helping out a local hospital, volunteering can lead to a feeling of accomplishment and purpose while keeping you socially connected.
- Head back to the workforce. If you’re feeling isolated, finding a part time job provides an opportunity to engage with others. Choose a low-stress position and keep your hours to a minimum if necessary, but this also helps keep your brain stimulated and allows you to build friendships with your coworkers.
- Speak up if you’re feeling down. When you feel lonely, isolated, or depressed, call friends or family and invite them out to lunch. You can also offer to visit family members or assist with childcare needs. Make the effort to maintain those relationships on a daily or weekly basis as much as you can to avoid social isolation.
Opportunities for Social Wellness at Deerfield Retirement Community
Deerfield is a warm and welcoming retirement community in Urbandale, Iowa, offering a stimulating and engaging lifestyle. You’ll find vibrant independent living options with supportive health care services for a full continuum of care, along with a rich calendar full of activities to ensure the highest level of social wellness. To learn more or to schedule a personal tour, please contact us today.